I moved to Jackson Hole, Wyoming in my late teens and continued on the path of drinking and drugging and trying to ‘fit in’. I then moved to Key West, Florida briefly until the partying got bad and figured i better go back to JH where the mountains called my name. 4 years after returning I realized I had a problem around the age of 27 and decided to move to Steamboat Springs. Are you seeing a pattern here? Dang it, wherever I went, there I was!
I had some dear friends that lived there in ‘The Boat’ and supported me in laying off my cocaine habit (that had gotten a bit out of control). Never had I heard of AA, NA or any 12 step fellowships or such so hanging with friends that didn’t do cocaine seemed like a healthy choice. Mind you they nor I realized at the time that me drinking & smoking pot or anything other mood or mind altering substance would lead me back to my drug of choice. So inevitably some coke made it up my nose one night after the bar. I just loved the way it smelled. Lol, little humor never hurts ;0) I shortly moved outta my friends’ house. From there on my addiction progressed until the inevitable with an addict like me… I lost myself, my spirituality, friends that were the real kind and through my inability to accept personal responsibility I was actually creating my own problems and then came the incomprehensible demoralization. 5 or so years later I had worn a complete hole in my septum and started cooking crack (freebasing whatever you call it) as my nose hurt to bad to snort anymore. That was the beginning of the end. I went to my drug dealer’s house (and a good friend too) who had told everyone in town to cut me off. I went to his house with a loaded 22 pistol with the intention of getting more. See there lied my problem, I always wanted more. I couldn’t do one of anything! My dealer was an ex navy seal & clearly I was not very successful. Yeah, I know, pretty comical now. He told me, Clairey, you are out of control, you need help, go home. He then gave me $500 dollars for gas and got 1 last eight ball of cocaine. I went to my house, cooked the 8ball, packed a bag, & grabbed dog food and my sweet dog Yukon and left to drive cross-country to South Carolina. My two best friends got my call that I was coming home. They were under strict orders not to tell my parents. Fortunately they did any how. My folks had no clue of my problems. I was good at hiding it or not doing drugs when they visited & being across the country for years helped my ‘secret’ as well. Shortly after I arrived at my folks place, I checked myself into rehab. Although I drove myself (my parents followed) to check in to rehab there were many a day in that 6 weeks I wanted to leave. Feeling any kinda feeling even good ones was all new to me. I had been unknowingly masking them for 17 years. To top it off I was so manic (I’m bi-polar) they thought I was on drugs on arrival! I had smoked some weed on my way but they thought I was on some sort of stimulant. Fortunately I was at a dual diagnosis rehab. I was introduced to so much there. I started to gain back my spirituality (with quite a big fight about it I might add). I didn’t get that spirituality was not the same as religion. Just to clarify I also understand that they can intertwine. I started praying to a higher power, practicing yoga & meditation. Even breathing! What a concept! After completing my 6 week stint I moved back with my folks and did a 3 month intensive outpatient and started meetings at least once a day. I got a sponsor and started working the 12 steps. My life started to change and miracles started happening. Again Jackson, WY and the mountains where calling my name. So I packed up and drove back. There was no NA fellowship that was thriving locally so I started attending AA meetings. Willing to go to any lengths right?! There I got a new sponsor and started the steps again. I believe that I have the disease of addiction and that alcohol is a drug. I call my self an addict in one fellowship and an alcoholic in another. I do this out of the respect for whichever fellowship I’m attending at the time. Either title I choose it doesn’t really matter. It’s like switching seats on the titanic, I’m gonna die either way probably. Shortly after I moved back to JH I met my husband who’s in recovery as well. 3 years later we married and now have an amazing son! Life hasn’t been a bowl of cherries, sunshine & moonbeams every day. Even in recovery shitty stuff happens. I feel like sometimes life is pretty tough and hasn’t changed that much. The difference is, I HAVE CHANGED! I have choices as I’m not a slave to my addiction. Today I have a solution. I haven’t been shy about being in recovery and that in itself has been a blessing. Old friends call on occasion and ask for help. Some of them are now recovering too!
The tools I learned in rehab and continue gaining through being honest, open, and willing in recovery have changed my life! I don’t always use them as hell, I’m human, but when I do what a gift! I can not only apply these principles to my recovery but I can utilize them in my marriage, all my relationships, and everything in between. My favorite time to apply them is while parenting. I know that in the roughest of moments no drunk, no high, no masking of my feelings in any way will ‘fix’ a thing. I would be lying if I said the thought if using doesn’t go through my head from time to time. My truth is that my consequences of using and my own personal desire to stay clean are just way bigger than my desire to use.
Through Grace our son has only known my husband and I in recovery. In order for it to stay that way we must maintain our path in the fellowship, be of service, remember that the God of understanding is in charge, ask for help and try to remain humble. I chose the title High on Hugs because hugs have always made me feel good! I love hugging and being hugged. And as you can see from reading this I’d much rather be high on HUGS than high on drugs! So in a nut shell… This is who I am,
I’m Clairey and I am an addict